Jennifer Childress joined the PLU athletic staff in April 2013 as the head women’s basketball coach and transitioned to Assistant Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator in the spring of 2020.
“The opportunity to move into an administrative position here at PLU ultimately prompted me to resign from coaching. It was a very difficult decision to say the least, but I’m confident the basketball program is in a very good place to have a new coach come in and build on our past successes,” said Childress. “I’ve been so blessed to coach and mentor an incredible group of young women over the past seven years! However, professionally, this was the correct decision for myself and my family. I’m excited to remain a part of Lute Athletics, and continue to develop supportive relationships with all our student-athletes and coaches across all sports.”
Childress directed the women’s basketball program for seven seasons (2013-2020), including a 2018-2019 campaign that saw the Lutes finish with a 14-10 mark, the program’s best record since the 2008-2009 season. Childress additionally served as the primary organizer for the annual PLU Youth Clinic in May that encouraged physical fitness to youth in the local community from ages six to 12.
Childress served as Western Washington University’s associate head coach from 2006 through 2013. As that program’s recruiting coordinator, she helped bring in the players that ended up making a deep run into the 2013 Division II national tournament. Western Washington lost in the national semifinals to eventual national champion Ashland (Ohio), and WWU finished its most recent season with a 29-4 record. During Childress’ time with the program the Vikings compiled an overall 145-50 win-loss record.
Prior to serving as Western Washington’s associate head coach, Childress was the head assistant coach at Cal State-San Bernardino from 2002-06. Before that she was a part-time assistant at Western Washington from 2001-02, and she got her start in coaching as the girls basketball head coach at Meridian High School in Bellingham from 1995-2001.
Childress graduated with honors from Wenatchee Valley College in 1989, where she won the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges’ Art Fiero Award as the Female Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1989. She was a three-sport athlete at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1992, and earned her Master in Education degree from City University in 2001.